King Co-Sponsors Sudan Divestment Legislation

May 16, 2007

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Austin – Senate Bill 247, the “Stop the Darfur Genocide Act”, which Representative Phil King (R-Weatherford) was a co-sponsor of, passed the Texas House of Representatives unanimously today. The bill has already cleared the Texas Senate and is on its way to the Governor’s desk, pending a procedural vote tomorrow. Governor Perry endorsed the targeted divestment legislation in his inaugural address and State of the State speech.

SB 247 would require the Teacher Retirement System of Texas (TRS) and the Employee Retirement System of Texas (ERS) to engage and possibly divest from certain companies doing business in Sudan who substantially benefit the central government, provide little benefit to Sudan’s citizens, and who have failed to address their role in indirectly facilitating Sudan’s genocide.

With an approximate value of $426 million in targeted fund holdings, the financial impact of the divestment effort on the Sudanese government is substantial. The amount represents about 0.59% of the assets under management by ERS & TRS.

Rep. Phil King said, “Texans will not stand for their money be used to facilitate genocide. Today the Texas House passed a bill that will send that message loud and clear.”

Mark Hanis, Executive Director of the Genocide Intervention Network, said, “today’s actions by the Texas House of Representatives, combined with overwhelming bi-partisan support for Senate Bill 247, establish the state of Texas as a leader in the fight against the first genocide of the 21st Century. Texans should be proud to help lead the world in making ‘Never Again’ a reality.”